Letter: A personal plea for energy investment

This public letter is respectfully written to Lester Crown, owner of Aspen Skiing Co.: History and posterity need you now (not next year, Mr. Crown) to take a global leadership role on climate change.

In his 2009 classic “Getting Green Done,” Auden Schendler wrote,”More than individuals, businesses can influence policy because they carry huge weight with government. And businesses can get things done while waiting for policy change to take place.”

Accordingly, based upon this season’s dismal Aspen “think tank” performance on climate-change strategies and Schendler’s wisdom and guidance, it is time for the global ski-resort space to realize that any more money spent on these Aspen “think tanks” is a waste of good cash and more importantly a waste of precious time to turn back global carbon emissions.

That said, Mr. Crown, please do the following: Pick up the phone, pull all the strings you’ve got, and arrange a private meeting between former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (as founder of the R20 Regions of Climate Action) and professor John A. Rogers of the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign. Rogers is to photon-solar energy development what the two Steves of Apple are to the personal computing or what Bill Gates and Windows are to software. When Rogers’ solar technology of 30 percent conversion efficiency of sunlight to electricity is juxtaposed with Schwarzenegger’s global infrastructure for the war on carbon, the world will permanently change, and the Aspen think tanks become inconsequential dinosaurs.

Therefore, Mr. Crown, after your people conduct the necessary due diligence investigating my claims that the world will permanently change by interfacing Schwarzenegger and Rogers, then also please pick up the phone and encourage the global ski-industry space to invest (this year) a minimum of $5 million into Schwarzenegger’s R20 to purchase from Semprius (Rogers’ startup) the 30 percent photovoltaic solar package for Third World deployment.

Also and extremely important: The city of Glenwood Springs owns its own electric company. This western Colorado city is quite suitable for low-carbon energy and technology testing. Thus, an excellent low-carbon synergism will result when the city of Glenwood Springs is targeted by private-sector cash in synchronization with R20 and Semprius and other zero-carbon energy systems. In other words, Mr. Crown, as your global ski industry funds the $5 million for Schwarzenegger’s R20, please also have the global ski industry pony up a minimum of $500,000 as an economic-development grant for the city of Glenwood Springs Electric Co.

Carl L. McWilliams

Sociologist and independent economic developer, Glenwood Springs